Corgi AA38504 German Messerschmitt Bf 110G-4/R6 Night Fighter - D5+RL, Nachtjagdgeschwader 3, RAF Museum Hendon (1:72 Scale)
"Guns before butter. Guns will make us powerful; butter will only make us fat."
- Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering, Head of the German Luftwaffe
The Messerschmitt Bf 110 was an aircraft of very mixed fortunes. It has often been criticized for its failure during the Battle of Britain, while its successes in other fields have been largely ignored. Despite not living up to the Luftwaffe's expectations it did manage to serve Germany throughout the Second World War in the long-range escort fighter, fighter-bomber, reconnaissance, ground attack and night fighter roles.
The long-range multi-seat escort fighter is possibly the most difficult of combat aircraft to design. Certainly no entirely successful machine in this category emerged from the Second World War, and when Professor Willy Messerschmitt began design studies for such a warplane towards the end of 1934 at the Bayerische Flugzeugwerke at Augsburg his problems would have seemed insurmountable had he possessed a full knowledge of interceptor fighter development trends abroad. Such a machine as was required by Marshal Goering to equip the elite "zerstorer" formations that he envisaged had to be capable of penetrating deep into enemy territory, possessing sufficient range to accompany bomber formations. The fuel tankage necessary presented a serious weight penalty and called for the use of two engines if the "zerstorer" was to achieve a performance approaching that of the lighter interceptor fighter by which it would be opposed. Yet it had to be manaoeuvrable if it was to successfully fend off the enemy's single-seaters.
The Bf 110Es were capable of carrying a respectable bomb load of 4,410 lb (2,000 kg) as fighter-bombers, while straight fighter and reconnaissance versions were also built. These, and later versions, were operated with a fair degree of success in many war zones. The Bf 110F was basically similar to the E, but two new variants were produced - the 110F-2 carrying rocket projectiles and the F-4 with two 30 mm cannon and an extra crew member for night fighting. The last version, the Bf 110G, was intended for use originally as a fighter-bomber but, in view of the success of the F-4 and the increasingly heavy attacks on Germany by Allied bombers, was employed mostly as a night fighter.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a German Messerschmitt Bf 110G night fighter that is currently on display at the RAF Museum in Hendon. Sold Out!
Wingspan: 10 inches
Length: 8 inches
Release Date: June 2010
Historical Account: "A Night (Fighter) at the Museum" - Believed to have been built in 1944, BF110G-4/R6, Wk Nr 730301, was specifically produced as a night fighter and fitted with the FuG220b Liechtenstein SN-32 radar. The aircraft, coded D5+RL, was serving with 1/NJG3 in the night defense of Denmark and Northern Germany when it was surrendered to the allies at Grove airfield in Denmark in May 1945. It was allocated Air Ministry evaluation number Air Min 34 and ferried via Schleswig in Northern Germany to RAE Farnborough where it arrived on 3rd Aug 1945. In May 1946 the aircraft was selected for long term preservation by the Air Ministry Air Historical Branch and it was displayed at a number of locations throughout the 1950s and 60s.
In August 1973, it was moved to RAF St Athan, South Wales where volunteers completely stripped, restored and repainted the aircraft in a blue/grey scheme with its original codes D5+RL. In 1978, it was transported to the new Battle of Britain Museum at Hendon (now the RAF Museum), where it has been displayed ever since.